Canada’s Svensson off to hot start in Puerto Rico

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Adam Svensson (Chuck Russell/ PGA TOUR)

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico – Rafael Compos shot an 8-under 64 in front of his home fans Thursday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open.

The 27-year-old Compos had eight birdies in a bogey-free round at Coco Beach. He made four straight birdies on Nos. 9-12, added another on the par-5 15th and parred the final three holes.

George McNeill, the 2012 winner, was a stroke back. He had six birdies in a seven-hole stretch and closed with a bogey on the par-4 ninth.

Defending champion Alex Cejka was at 66 along with Aaron Baddeley, Frank Lickliter and Will MacKenzie. Baddeley eagled the 15th and closed with two birdies.

Former Team Canada member Adam Svensson had a 67. The 5-under par round featured six birdies and a bogey.

Svensson, the medalist at Tour Q-School last December, will be making the fifth PGA TOUR start of his career at the Puerto Rico Open at Coco Beach. The Surrey, B.C., competed in the RBC Canadian Open in 2013 and 2014 as an amateur, posted a T34 at the event as a professional in 2015, and missed the cut at The RSM Classic last fall.

English stars Luke Donald and Ian Poulter are in playing after failing to qualify for the Match Play event in Texas. Donald opened with a 69, and Poulter shot 71.

In other Canadian action, Weyburn. Sask., native Graham DeLaet and Abbotsford, B.C.’s Nick Taylor had matching 2-under 70s. Wil Bateman of Edmonton had a 2-over 74.